In this multi-media era, there's nothing more old school as theater. These days, when it comes to entertainment, if you can't throw it up on YouTube or watch/listen to it on an IPod, it seems like no one cares. The idea of actually going to a theater and watching real live people performing on a stage seems almost ... quaint.
And yet, here in NYC in the second decades of the 21st century, theater is booming.
Theater in NYC has always been a big industry. After all, this is the town that invented the theatrical brands of "Broadway" and "Off Broadway" and "Off Off Broadway" shows. But right now this seems to be a particularly exciting time -- perhaps historic -- in the annals of NYC theater.
Where else but in NYC can you see not one but two Oscar winning actors play Shylock in The Merchant of Venice? Just as Al Pacino is finishing up his Broadway run in the iconic role, another version starring F. Murray Abraham. Amazing. And, in fact, if you like Shakespeare, there's going to be a play by The Bard on stage somewhere in NYC for the next several months. Even more amazing. Call this Shakespeare NYC.
And over in Brooklyn, at BAM, Geoffrey Rush just debuted in Diary of a Madman. And very shortly Derek Jacobi will be coming into town with King Lear.
And right now there's a very little seen Tennessee Williams play being staged, a Redgrave is on Broadway, the always brilliant Mandy Patinkin is back, and the amount of off Broadway and alternative theater is absolutely booming.
Plus a revival of Tom Stoppard's Arcadia is headed to town -- and Mr NYC already has tickets!
And yes, the saga of Spider Man: Turn off the Dark rolls on. Now the geniuses behind this show are calling in someone to re-write the show completely. I hope this show stays open if only because it's such a welcome distraction from the real problems of the world.
Seriously, you should read the Theater section of the Times -- it's a show unto itself.
For those of you looking for good deals on tickets to this extravaganza of old media, you should go on TheaterMania to find deals. This a wonderful time in NYC theater and everyone should want to be a part of it.